The Nicoya Peninsula is a fertile rectangle of land on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Since the arrival of the Spaniards, the region has hosted herds of beef and dairy cattle. Many tropical fruits thrive there, including citrus, mango and papaya.
In my last blog, we began a discussion of blue zones—regions with a lot of centenarians—as popularized by Dan Buettner in his book The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest. As we saw in his chapter on the Sardinian blue zone, he leaves out considerable information that contradicts his premise, namely that the longevity diet is one that contains a lot of vegetables and only small amounts of meat—that’s lean meat, not “processed meats that are filled with fat.”
Often when I present information on the work of Weston Price, I get feedback that goes like this: native peoples on their native diets, high in animal foods and animal fat, may have been attractive and healthy when they were young, but they did not live into old age. If you want to live a long life, you need to eat a diet that is low in fat, low in salt, high in plant foods and rich in dietary fiber, in short, the penalty for a long life is adherence to the sad and unsatisfying diet foisted on us by the Diet Dictocrats.
In my last blog, I introduced the Weston A. Price Foundation’s Find Real Food app, the online version of our Shopping Guide. The Shopping Guide and App are unique in many ways.
“Broth is the new juice,” is the saying on the street. Indeed, interest in genuine bone broth is taking off, thanks not only to my book Nourishing Broth, but also to several other great books on the subject. And the number of artisan companies making broth is growing, as a quick look at the Weston A. Price Foundation Shopping Guide will show.
Do you drink raw milk or purchase food directly from a farmer? Have you switched to butter or started cooking in lard? Are you reading labels more carefully these days? Or drinking kombucha instead of soft drinks?
Early in 2005, we received a telephone call at the Weston A. Price Foundation office from an Illinois prisoner, Larry “Rocky” Harris. Mr. Harris had a tough, desperate-sounding voice, and something told me I needed to listen carefully. Larry is a “prison lawyer” who helps fellow prisoners write grievances and complaints and advises them as to their legal rights.
“Food before one is just for fun.” That’s the philosophy for feeding programs that place a few raw vegetables on your baby’s high chair tray; other groups do stress the important nutritional requirements for babies and toddlers, but follow this with recommendations to feed rice cereal and pureed vegetables. Dear parents, your growing baby needs much more than vegetable slices or rice cereal!
Recently I visited Whole Foods in Washington, DC and went upstairs to the cafe area to eat my lunch (cheese and homemade pate) before shopping. A woman with a baby of about eight months old came in and sat at the table next to mine. She ate a meal she had purchased at the deli. But what did baby in her high chair get? A few pieces of green pepper and cucumber on the high chair tray. When she left, those vegetable slices were scattered on the floor, with no evidence that baby had eaten much of anything.
In my last blog I began a discussion of infant feeding practices, addressing the question of when to begin solid food. In this instance, my views are in accord with those of conventional organizations, namely that for the majority of babies, four to six months is the right age for beginning foods other than breast milk or formula (that’s homemade baby formula, based on raw milk).
As for what to feed baby, here I am mostly in disagreement with conventional advice.
A recent online discussion that took place at NourishingOurChildren.org has made me realize the need to reiterate our (mine and those of the Weston A. Price Foundation) recommendations for infant feeding.
Shortly after my book Nourishing Traditions came out, I participated in an interview with Roger Windsor, editor of Spectrum Magazine. The journal had a vegetarian, macrobiotic bent, but Roger was kind enough (and intrigued enough) to introduce Nourishing Traditions to the public through the pages of his journal.
(By the way, Roger began eating meat, including liver, after the interview; he saw his health improve, sold his magazine, and for many years kindly donated his services as copyeditor for Wise Traditions, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation.)
Dear Mr. Trump,
Congratulations on your election to the U.S. presidency. You campaigned on a slogan of “Make America Great Again,” proposing to create more jobs for ordinary Americans.
This is a laudable goal but unfortunately, it is not enough to make America great again.
I’m happy to report that my new book, Nourishing Fats, will be out this coming January (2017). The book began as a few notes and a hasty table of contents jotted down over a dozen years ago, after many conversations with my mentor, Mary G. Enig, PhD. We agreed on the need for a popular book addressing the subject of saturated fats, one that would do more than acknowledge the notion that they “might not be so bad,” but explain why they are essential to life. Needless to say, the inspiration for this book, and the basic knowledge on fats and oils, came from her. Nourishing Fats is dedicated to the memory of this courageous biochemist, who sacrificed research grants and a prestigious career in order to warn the public about the dangers of trans fats.
The highlight of the year for myself and for the Weston A. Price Foundation is the annual Wise Traditions conference, now in its 17th year.
In the early days, we held the conference in a church basement, with just a few speakers and one meal—no longer! Now it is a 4-day event, with almost 40 speakers, several tracks, up to 100 exhibitors and 5 nutrient-dense meals, including the awards banquet on Saturday evening—I like to call it our big annual party, with great food, great company and the sharing of great information.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Glennon Doyle Melton, an author who shares her struggles on coping as a mother at momastery.com. I got a bit of flack for making the connection of the typical American “healthy” diet with her difficulties, but in fact the Internet is teaming with moms sharing their heartaches dealing with depression and lack of energy as they try to care for children (often very sick children)—and with far fewer resources than Doyle Melton enjoys. These problems—in both the moms and the children—could be greatly alleviated by embracing a nutrient-dense diet that contains lots of butter, cream, whole raw milk, egg yolks and old-fashioned foods like liver and cod liver oil, and getting rid of processed foods, even so-called healthy processed foods like granola and almond milk. My remarks were not meant to be critical in any way, but to indicate a solution—the right diet really can help kids and their parents to be healthy and happy.
An article in the Washington Post (July 14, 2016) discusses the punishing major league baseball schedules, noting that players believe there is a relationship between “consecutive days played, game times, travel—and injuries.” They point to the one hundred sixty-two-day schedule, instituted in the early 1960s, as a factor in the greater number of injuries in recent times.
I had never heard of Glennon Doyle Melton until the Washington Post published an article about her, September 8, 2016. Ms. Doyle Melton is attractive and slender, lives in an upper middle class neighborhood, has a husband (although they are now separated), three good-looking children and more-than-adequate finances. She is the author of an extremely successful blog, momastery.com, which gets seven million readers per week, and two best-selling books, Love Warrior (Flatiron, 2016) and Carry On, Warrior (Scribner, 2012).
I learned a very interesting fact recently, one that can give us guidance on how to overcome the modern phenomenon of chronic fatigue: about 70 percent (!) of the body’s energy goes toward digesting our food. So the obvious first step in treating a condition of constant tiredness would be to consume food that is easy to digest.
We were in the local feed store recently and I happened to look at the ingredient list for milk replacer for calves. Imagine my surprise to find “animal fat” listed as the third ingredient!